Goran Vojnović wins Angelus Central European Literature Award 2020

On Saturday 17 October in Wrocław, Angelus Central European Literature Award was presented for the 15th time, the most important distinction for writers from Central Europe whose books were published in Polish. This year, the jury awarded Slovenian writer Goran Vojnović for his novel Jugoslavija, moja dežela [My Yugoslavia], translated into Polish by Joanna Pomorska and published by Wydawnictwo Akademickie SEDNO. He received the award from Mayor of Wrocław Jacek Sutryk.

The winner was selected by the following jury: Mykola Riabchuk (chairman), Marcin Cieński, Urszula Glensk, Ryszard Krynicki, Anna Nasiłowska, Małgorzata Szpakowska and Piotr Śliwiński. Gospodinow received a cheque for 150 000 PLN and a statuette designed by Ewa Rossano. The founder of the Award is the city of Wrocław.  

The winner of Angelus 2020 is a Slovenian writer, film director, screenwriter, journalist and columnist. He debuted with a book of poetry entitled Lep je ta svet  [This World is Beautiful], he also published three novels and a collection of feature articles. In his native Slovenia, he’s considered one of the most interesting and promising writer of the middle generation, his books were published in around a dozen languages.

Angelus for translation and the readers’ award

Since 2010, Angelus is also awarded for the best translation, to the translator of the winning book. This year, the winner was Joanna Pomorska, eminent translator of Slovenian prose and drama, including works by Drago Jančar. In 2020, the financial award for best translation was doubled and the amount is now 40 000 PLN.

The third distinction presented during the Angelus gala is the Natalya Gorbanevskaya Award, organized for six years now. It honours the memory the Russian poet and journalist, the first chairperson of Angelus jury, who died in 2013. The winner is selected by the readers in online voting. This year, the most votes were received by Russian writer Sergey Lebedev for his novel Гусь Фриц [Children of Kronos], translated into Polish by Grzegorz Szymczak and published by Wydawnictwo Claroscuro. Since 2020, Natalya Gorbanevskaya Readers’ Award is not only an honourable distinction – the winner is invited for a three-months artist-in-residence stay in Wrocław.

Photo of Goran Vojnović by Tanja Draškić Savić